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A masked gaze along the canals of Venice

Nestled on a gentle lagoon, Venice is a world treasure whose timeless beauty encourages all manner of excess - including the prices at Carnival time.

The rest of Italy and the euro zone may be tightening their belts as a result of a debt crisis, but visitors to Venice in the two weeks before Lent begins can still indulge in a whirlwind of masked parades, costume balls, parties, brunch with "cicchetti" and live entertainment. Continue reading.

-- Reuters